"Winter Dreams" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Other

"Winter Dreams" by F. Scott Fitzgerald : http://mrgunnar.net/files/Winter%20Dreams%20Text.pdf

Some of the caddies were poor as sin and lived in o
ne-room houses with a neurasthenic
cow in the front yard, but Dexter Green’s father ow
ned the second best grocery-store in Black
Bear—the best one was "The Hub," patronized by the
wealthy people from Sherry Island—and
Dexter caddied only for pocket-money.
In the fall when the days became crisp and gray, an
d the long Minnesota winter shut
down like the white lid of a box, Dexter’s skis mov
ed over the snow that hid the fairways of the
golf course. At these times the country gave him a
feeling of profound melancholy—it offended
him that the links should lie in enforced fallownes
s, haunted by ragged sparrows for the long
season. It was dreary, too, that on the tees where
the gay colors fluttered in summer there were
now only the desolate sand-boxes knee-deep in crust
ed ice. When he crossed the hills the wind
blew cold as misery, and if the sun was out he tram
ped with his eyes squinted up against the hard
dimensionless glare.
In April the winter ceased abruptly. The snow ran d
own into Black Bear Lake scarcely
tarrying for the early golfers to brave the season
with red and black balls. Without elation,
without an interval of moist glory, the cold was go
ne.
Dexter knew that there was something dismal about t
his Northern spring, just as he knew
there was something gorgeous about the fall. Fall m
ade him clinch his hands and tremble and
repeat idiotic sentences to himself, and make brisk
abrupt gestures of command to imaginary
audiences and armies. October filled him with hope
which November raised to a sort of ecstatic
triumph, and in this mood the fleeting brilliant im
pressions of the summer at Sherry Island were
ready grist to his mill. He became a golf champion
and defeated Mr. T. A. Hedrick in a
marvellous match played a hundred times over the fa
irways of his imagination, a match each
detail of which he changed about untiringly —someti
mes he won with almost laughable ease,
sometimes he came up magnificently from behind. Aga
in, stepping from a Pierce-Arrow
automobile, like Mr. Mortimer Jones, he strolled fr
igidly into the lounge of the Sherry Island
Golf Club—or perhaps, surrounded by an admiring cro
wd, he gave an exhibition of fancy diving
from the spring-board of the club raft. . . . Among
those who watched him in open-mouthed
wonder was Mr. Mortimer Jones.
And one day it came to pass that Mr. Jones—himself
and not his ghost—came up to
Dexter with tears in his eyes and said that Dexter
was the ---- best caddy in the club, and
wouldn’t he decide not to quit if Mr. Jones made it
worth his while, because every other ----
caddy in the club lost one ball a hole for him—regu
larly—
"No, sir," said Dexter decisively, "I don’t want to
caddy any more." Then, after a pause:
"I’m too old."
"You’re not more than fourteen. Why the devil did y
ou decide just this morning that you
wanted to quit? You promised that next week you’d g
o over to the State tournament with me."
"I decided I was too old."
Dexter handed in his "A Class" badge, collected wha
t money was due him from the
caddy master, and walked home to Black Bear Village
.
"The best ---- caddy I ever saw," shouted Mr. Morti
mer Jones over a drink that afternoon.
"Never lost a ball! Willing! Intelligent! Quiet! Ho
nest! Grateful!"
The little girl who had done this was eleven—beauti
fully ugly as little girls are apt to be
who are destined after a few years to be inexpressi
bly lovely and bring no end of misery to a...